Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dust of the Orion Nebula
Posted on 02/06/2012 4:26:18 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: What surrounds a hotbed of star formation? In the case of the Orion Nebula -- dust. The entire Orion field, located about 1600 light years away, is inundated with intricate and picturesque filaments of dust. Opaque to visible light, dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive cool stars and expelled by a strong outer wind of particles. The Trapezium and other forming star clusters are embedded in the nebula. The intricate filaments of dust surrounding M42 and M43 appear brown in the above image, while central glowing gas is highlighted in red. Over the next few million years much of Orion's dust will be slowly destroyed by the very stars now being formed, or dispersed into the Galaxy.
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[Credit & Copyright: Nicolás Villegas]
With all the possibilities, I find it completely impossible that we’re the only planet with life in the universe.
We’re not. However, the type of life isn’t going to be the same as we know it. Life, defined loosely, could mean anything down to microscopic amoebae. The chances of bipedal human-like life might be slimmer than say something akin to pond scum or algae.
I fully agree with that, and I don’t take the view that so many scientists do, what with mentioning the “Goldilocks Zone,” and requiring liquid water for life. Having a similar or the same composition of gases in the atmosphere, and a similar planet size. In all the threads I read on here about this specific subject, not once have I read in the article anything like that, at all. They always keep saying the same thing over and over, as if we’ll be able to start traveling there in a few years or so.
It’s almost as if they believe that all life in the universe requires the same things we need for basic living.
I took an honors colloquium in college called “Life in the Universe” with a professor who worked for JPL. Fascinating class. One of the most exciting forms of life they were studying was methanogenes. These bacteria lived in the very hot undersea volcanic vents and consumed methane. There’s a distinct possibility that these same bacteria live on Venus and Mercury and even in the deep oceans of Europa or Titan.
People always say, “Oh, there’s no life there,” but they’re thinking macro. If you think micro, the possibilities are quite profound even just in our own solar system.
“Dust?” How big are the particles of this dust?